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Vibrator Supplies?? #152941
03/12/06 05:37 AM
03/12/06 05:37 AM
Trumpy  Offline
OP
Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,236
SI,New Zealand
Sorry no pics guys, but I was talking to a fellow Ham Operator today and he mentioned that when Auto radios first came about, you had to have a device called a vibrator to transform the 12VDC to 250V(AC/DC?).
Please bear in mind these would have been Valve sets.
I know nothing about these devices, but they sound great from a voltage conversion stand point.
Can anyone shed any light on this topic?
Considering the actual transformation ratio, these could have been the first inverters?.
I'm really interested in the theory behind these devices.

Tools for Electricians:
Re: Vibrator Supplies?? #152942
03/12/06 09:54 AM
03/12/06 09:54 AM
W
winnie  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 649
boston, ma
A vibrator power supply was a _mechanical_ DC to DC converter, where low voltage DC was pulsed into the primary of a transformer using a set of vibrating contacts (like a mechanical buzzer) and then the higher voltage output of the transformer was rectified. I would not be surprised if there were similar mechanical devices with produced AC output at a fixed frequency.
http://www.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_30708/article.html
http://www.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_30674/article.html

I don't know any of the details of using vibrators. I just remember seeing mention of them in some old radio book when I was a kid.

-Jon

Re: Vibrator Supplies?? #152943
03/12/06 11:22 AM
03/12/06 11:22 AM
G
geoff in UK  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 190
UK
Now that brings back memories ! When I was still at school I was always keen to acquire peoples electro-mechanical junk to play around with and to dismantle to see how it worked.
A vibrator type car radio was amongst those, and I remember cutting off the vibrator can and fiddling for hours trying to get it to operate reliably. When it ran OK the radio, which used octal base valves, did work. It was in a large metal box intended to be fitted in the engine compartment and the two controls connected by mechanical flexible cables to a small control head. Goodness knows what car it was from!
A later generation of car radios I recall used "special" valves which would operate with 12 volt ht supply. I think these were the RF valves, and those sets had solid state audio stages. I discovered that near equivalent contemporary TV valves (intended for use at conventional ht) would still operate in these sets.

Re: Vibrator Supplies?? #152944
03/12/06 12:38 PM
03/12/06 12:38 PM
P
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Vibrator supplies were very common for car radio equipment in tube/valve days. You need to apply some good filtering though to get rid of all the spiky waveforms and harmonics generated by the vibrating contacts.

These days, there are even specialist places selling solid-state replacements for those who like to keep their old radio running in a vintage/classic car.

Quote
to transform the 12VDC to 250V

And don't forget that prior to the mid-1950s or thereabouts, most car electrical systems were 6 volts.

Re: Vibrator Supplies?? #152945
03/14/06 04:15 PM
03/14/06 04:15 PM
R
RODALCO  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 856
Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
I got a circuit somewhere in my archives for a reliable 12 Volts vibrator supply with 2 TIP 3055 transistor and 2 * 1 Watt resistors.

If I can find it I will post the details.


The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.
Re: Vibrator Supplies?? #152946
03/15/06 12:39 PM
03/15/06 12:39 PM
E
Electricmanscott  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
[Linked Image]

Re: Vibrator Supplies?? #152947
03/15/06 07:41 PM
03/15/06 07:41 PM
Trumpy  Offline
OP
Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,236
SI,New Zealand
Thanks for your insight into this topic guys.
And Jon (winnie) thanks for the links.
Older electrical stuff really intrigues me.
I actually had one of the vibrator units in my possesion a few years back and I wanted to rip it open to see what was inside it, but I gave it to the radio museum instead.
I'm told that they came in 3 and 5(?) pin versions.
Paul,
Quote
And don't forget that prior to the mid-1950s or thereabouts, most car electrical systems were 6 volts.

Hmm, now that I didn't know, to slide slightly off-topic here, the currents in a 12V system with headlamps and the horn are quite large as they are, a 6V system must have had huge current draw, or were the lamps of a lower rating?.

Re: Vibrator Supplies?? #152948
03/16/06 09:02 AM
03/16/06 09:02 AM
P
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
The typical headlamps weren't quite so powerful as the bulbs found in many of today's cars, but then neither were the 12-volt bulbs which were common throughout the 1960s. 45W (high beam) and 40W (low beam) wasn't unusual.

It was to keep the currents down that the auto industry made the move to 12 volts. It was a time when cars were starting to get a lot more accessories: Extra lighting, rear window defoggers, heater blowers, etc.

Remember too that in the mid-1950s cars also had dynamos rather than alternators, so there was little or no charge until the engine was revved above idle speed.

Re: Vibrator Supplies?? #152949
03/16/06 12:23 PM
03/16/06 12:23 PM
S
SvenNYC  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
Quote
The typical headlamps weren't quite so powerful as the bulbs found in many of today's cars, but then neither were the 12-volt bulbs which were common throughout the 1960s.


These newfangled Halongen bulbs being used in modern cars are dangerous.

When you're walking or driving around at night and there's on-coming traffic, you get blinded when these things hit your eyes. It's like they're driving with their high-beams on at all times.

I can't believe the saftey regulatory bodies allow headlamps to be so bright.

Wonder if it would be possible to put a dimmer control in series with the lamps. [Linked Image]

Re: Vibrator Supplies?? #152950
03/16/06 05:30 PM
03/16/06 05:30 PM
J
JoeTestingEngr  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 794
Chicago, Il.
We also have to remember that compression ratios climbed in the 60's placing higher demands on starters. Also, V8s were becoming more popular.
Joe

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